2018–2019 Walden University Catalog (September 2018) 
    May 27, 2022  
2018–2019 Walden University Catalog (September 2018) [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

PhD in Education–School of Higher Education, Leadership, and Policy

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The PhD in Education is a research-focused program that produces outstanding professionals who can address the nation’s most pressing challenges in the field of education. Specializations in a variety of established and newly emerging fields and a general program are available. For those educators whose particular learning interests are not met by one of the specializations or whose interests are interdisciplinary, The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership also offers a self-designed specialization to meet their unique needs.

The PhD in Education learning outcomes will be demonstrated through numerous direct and indirect measures in each of the PhD specializations.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this program, the education professional will:

  1. Synthesize content knowledge, concepts, and principles grounded in a specific educational discipline.
  2. Propose interventions based on the analysis of educational needs.
  3. Design and conduct research that is grounded in theory and based on previous research in the field.
  4. Conduct research that positively impacts social change.
  5. Communicate to multiple audiences via effective oral and written formats.
  6. Advocate for social change that integrates diverse perspectives and demonstrates awareness of global interrelationships.


Changing specializations may increase a student’s expected time-to-degree completion and cost.

Degree Requirements

  • Professional Development Plan and Program of Study
  • Foundation course (5 cr.)
  • Core course (5 cr.)
  • Specialization courses (30 cr.)
  • Doctoral support courses (6 cr.)
  • Research courses (20 cr.)
  • Completion of the Doctoral Capstone
    • Doctoral Dissertation course
  • Four PhD residencies


These courses are dependent upon the particular specialization. Please see the course list on each specialization page.

Core Research Sequence (15 cr.)

Courses composing the core research sequence are conducted online and require weekly readings, participation in discussions, and assignment completion. Course instructors guide discussions and evaluate discussion and application assignments. RSCH 8100 or 8110 must be completed prior to Residency 2 of the academic residencies. RSCH 8200 or 8210 and RSCH 8300 or 8310 must be completed prior to beginning the dissertation or attending Residency 3.

Advanced Research Course (5 cr.)

Those enrolled in this specialization are required to complete an advanced research course. The university offers three advanced research courses: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods. When the prospectus is approved, students will take the advanced research course selected as the methodology approved for the dissertation.
Students are required to complete one of the following courses:

Completion of the Doctoral Capstone

Course Sequence

See each specialization page for the course sequence.

Doctoral Writing Assessment

Students who start their doctoral program at Walden University in 2016 or later will complete the university’s required doctoral writing assessment on a rolling basis. Designed to evaluate incoming doctoral students’ writing skills, this assessment aims to help prepare incoming doctoral students to meet the university’s expectations for writing at the doctoral level. For more information, click here.

Note on Teacher Licensure or Certification

This program does not lead to teacher licensure or certification. Teachers are advised to contact their individual school districts as to whether this program may qualify for salary advancement.

In It Together: Balancing School and Life

At Walden, we understand that you likely work full time and may care for children or other family members. Explore support services designed to help you balance family commitments with your work and school responsibilities. We’re all in it together.



8-Year Maximum Timeframe

Students have up to 8 years to complete their doctoral degree requirements [https://catalog.waldenu.edu/content.php?catoid=158&navoid=52191]. Students may petition to extend the 8-year maximum timeframe, but an extension is not guaranteed.

Program Data

Walden is committed to providing the information you need to make an informed decision about where you pursue your education. Click here to find detailed information for the PhD in Education program relating to the types of occupations this program may lead to, completion rate, program costs, and median loan debt of students who have graduated from this program.

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